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News Release -
Harris Semiconductor Announces The World's First Baseband Processor Targeted To Proposed 802.11 High-Speed WLAN Standard (HFA3860B)
— Uses new Complementary Code Keying (CCK) modulation technology
— 11Mbps data rates achieve standard wired Ethernet speed
MELBOURNE, FL, November 16, 1998 - Harris Semiconductor has developed the world's first baseband processor chip using the CCK modulation technology that was adopted by the IEEE's 802.11 Working Group in July. The HFA3860B Baseband Processor drops neatly into the existing Harris PRISM? radio chip set and is targeted for operation to the high data rate extension of the 802.11 WLAN global standard, expected to be approved in mid-1999. It is anticipated that approval of a global standard for high speed wireless networking will open the door for interoperable WLAN products compatible with wired Ethernet.
"The IEEE 802.11 working group moved significantly closer to a high-speed extension by adopting the joint Harris-Lucent CCK proposal," said Ron Van Dell, vice president and general manager of Harris Semiconductor's Communications Products Business. "Higher data rate capability is critical for gaining wide acceptance of WLANs across all types of applications, particularly in the enterprise arena. Many high speed consumer products now under development also benefit from high data rates. This CCK processor becomes a key member in our industry-leading PRISM family, and builds momentum toward fast, interoperable WLAN products that deliver all the benefits of the network connection with the freedom of mobility."
Speed advancement to 11 megabits per second (Mbps) data rates is especially important for two areas. The first is for augmenting the existing wired infrastructure of companies, allowing mobile workers speedy wireless connection to network services throughout the enterprise campus. The other is for high data rate wireless consumer appliances, now under development. Examples of such consumer products are PC-to-TV systems, interactive home gaming systems, or wireless Internet surfing. All of these require high speeds because of the file sizes involved in moving multimedia content, DVD video or CD-quality audio.
About the HFA3860B
The new baseband processor chip - designated the HFA3860B - is the most recent addition to Harris Semiconductor's PRISM family of Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) wireless networking products. The HFA3860B is the baseband processing engine of the physical layer (PHY), and contains all the functions necessary for a full- or half-duplex packet baseband transceiver. It drops neatly into the existing Harris PRISM? radio chip set, and can replace the HFA3824A and HFA3860A in the Harris PRISM Radio Reference Design. The HFA3860B builds upon the HFA3860A, introduced last January, which utilized M-ary Bi-Orthogonal Keying (MBOK) modulation technology to achieve 11Mbps data rates.
The HFA3860B has on-board A/Ds for analog I and Q inputs, matched for the HFA3724/6 IF QMODEM. Differential phase shift keying modulation schemes (DBPSK and DQPSK) with data scrambling capability are available, along with CCK and MBOK to provide a variety of data rates (11, 5.5, 2, 1 Mbps); this makes the device backwards compatible with 1 and 2 Mbps 802.11-compliant DSSS systems on the market now. The HFA3860B is configured through a general purpose control bus, providing design flexibility. A Receive Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) monitor function, coupled with on-board 6-bit A/D provides Clear Channel Assessment (CCA) to avoid data collisions and optimize network throughput.
The HFA3860B's low profile, surface mount package (TQFP) allows very compact WLAN products such as the industry-standard PCMCIA Type II card. The product's low operating voltage (2.6—3.7 volts) delivers superior battery life, an important attribute to portable PC users. The HFA3860B is available now, with pricing in 10K quantities at $11.40. More information on this and other PRISM products can be obtained by dialing 1-800HARRIS, or visiting the Harris website at http://www.semi.harris.com.
Applications include: wireless augmentation of wired enterprise systems, giving mobile workers fast, wireless connection to network services wherever they roam; high speed consumer wireless appliances, especially those moving multimedia content such as DVD movies and CD-quality audio; and vertical systems that target the IEEE802.11 standard and need the higher data rates to add more users. Other applications include spread spectrum WLAN RF modems; portable PDA/notebook computers; wireless digital audio and video; and PCN/wireless PBX systems.
The HFA3860B baseband processor is used in the Aironet BRE500? Series of ETSI-compliant, 11 Mbps Wireless Bridge products, which were demonstrated last week at the Electronica show in Munich, Germany. Designed for wirelessly connecting two or more LANs, typically in different buildings, the Aironet BRE500 Series provides exceptional range between sites - connecting LANs up to 5 kilometers (km) apart - at a fraction of the cost of comparable wired solutions. The high-speed series is designed to provide short, medium and long-range building-to-building LAN solutions in countries regulated by the European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI). Aironet's website address is: http://www.aironet.com.
Harris Corporation's Semiconductor sector manufactures discrete semiconductors and integrated circuits. Product development efforts are focused on innovative "next level solutions" for the communications and power markets. The company's portfolio of products serves many market segments - automotive, industrial, computing, wireless networking, telecommunications, signal processing, PC multimedia, consumer electronics and space and defense.
Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS), with worldwide sales of $3.9 billion, is an international communications and electronics company that provides a wide range of products and services such as wireless and personal communications, digital television (HDTV), health care information, automotive electronics, transportation, business information, defense communications and information and Lanier office products.
PRISM is a trademark of Harris Corporation
Aironet BRE500 Series is a trademark of Aironet Wireless Communications, Inc.